I don't know how far we rode (I'm going to guess it was probably between 2 and 3 hundred kilometres) by the time you considered getting to the starting venue and getting home when all was said and done.
The first portion of the day was mercifully overcast and made the ride very comfortable. Nothing to do but enjoy the scenery and some connection at the various slated stops (the "event" was a "Poker Run" so at each stop you drew a card with which to build a poker hand at the end (there were cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place finishes).
As I said the ride was, enjoyable enough and it was a good feeling to recognize the money raised was all going to a good local cause (minus the expenses of running the event).
Though a "charity" event my attention was drawn toward the old adage, "charity begins at home.." (I haven't now gone and extensively researched the writers original intent with that idea) - but I take it to mean, the "good works" need to be consistently and necessarily applied toward ones own life before directing care and attention outward (or at least they need occur simultaneously).
As it turns out most of the participants would be among what could be deemed my "peers" - some a little older, maybe some a little younger; though as I sat and considered being part of the "conversations" at the check-points (which frequently are pubs/pub-style restaurants) - I quickly realize - first of all, I don't drink. Now not entirely an impediment to inclusion, as I would say that generally the consumption was very low. As I listened to the popcorn style topics, looking for where I might engage - I soon realize, wow there are a lot of conversations around, declining health, the "old-age pension," etc. Those present, are reflecting on those no longer present, some present are on the rebound from medical realities that forbid them to participate with the same vigour that they once had. Questions abound (spoken & un-spoken) what is the prognosis for recovery? What will be the new "normal?" Could "this" happen to me?
I fully realize that just to ride a motorcycle has some inherent risk. However, I also have met and am aware of others (through media stories) that where mowed down in cross-walks while walking by motor-vehicles while they had the right-of-way." So let's be clear, there is no risk-free living!!
Just the same, this group of people seemed to share in a resounding theme of generally unhealthy choices... Some proclaiming surprise (at still being alive) - I get that, I completely understand - though I lean more into gratitude for my life (most of the time) and can really see reflected through contrast - that my efforts toward wellness over the last over thirty-two years seem to be fruitful - even considering that within that time frame I have undergone various (for example) physical transformations & then systematically undone them. Still I've been blessed not to have the litany of surgeries, maladies etc.
Don't get me wrong - pensions (or some form of ongoing financial income stream is a reality for me too - as far as I know) - I haven't had some flash of inspiration as to how to skirt that need altogether. If anything I've lived like there was no tomorrow & the repercussions of this maybe yet fully unknown. I am curious ongoing what the scriptural reference brings to bear on this matter.
- 19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth
- and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
- 20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
- rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
"Live and let live" rings through my thoughts.. I don't sit in judgement of what is going on around me - I do wonder where I go to find connection (but that's an ongoing story) certain it can be found even within desparately seeming circles...) I found some humanity in one of the participants that was still a member of the Canadian armed forces (ironically not where I would think to look for it) he had served in a number of different "tours of duty.." I generally don't embrace his need or anyone else's to be serving in such capacity - but he had been in parts of the world where I have been blessed to visit and I felt for his having been there in such horrific times and could at least embrace his belief for himself to do so.I didn't want a "heavy meal" in my gut to ride with the rest of the day and (as noted in a recent post) my food intake is getting a revision anyway. My body seems happy overall with a no meat diet - so be it.. The only vegetable product elsewhere in my midst was the ketchup (oh & some onion rings) - I even heard of something called poutine/onion rings. I don't care how good any of this tastes in the moment... I know the after-math for myself.. Those that had ordered mountains of this fare - were then trying to pass off their left-overs (this proclaimed as an overture of mindfulness)... One guys rings out - I'm eating healthier these days because "my old lady" tells me I have to!!!"Meanwhile I'm trying to live a life of personal responsibility - not to mention that if there should be any women in my life on an ongoing basis - they are not "old lady.." nor any other derogatory reference.For God sake - eat healthy because it will effect the quality of your life - if you want to eat otherwise then enjoy that & not make it about someone else.I am at a loss with this crowd.. to discuss what I know intimately about my bike might comprise a few sentences (& that only because, I'm never succinct about anything). My gender/sexuality etc. is not defined by how "large I live" or how self-abusive conduct myself. If I make an unhealthy food choice, I don't need someone to make that okay for me - increasingly I'm becoming aware when I'm doing that as a means to escape. Sometimes I just want to enjoy and cold cone on a hot day.I might have known that various bastions of "old boys" thinking would hold-up in motorcycle groups (actually some of the women where more "macho" than me) & this is largely a group of "bikers" that have day jobs and have or are raising families (they are not on anyone's "most wanted list..") - just a slice of humanity that happen to like to ride motorcycles.My point is not to point out the short-comings of others - it's more my recognition that I'm not going to continue abusing myself to fit in with any group of people. It's also sad for me to have a want for connection - but find so much challenge in that. Sure I can "hold my centre," but it gets tiring living what I identify as in the best interest of my well-being & have it be continually scrutinized by those that choose otherwise.At the final venue (where there was to be "split the pot" draws) and door prizes - the vast majority of the group sat at the outside tables in the direct sun.... I was in heavy jeans and a couple layers of protective upper body clothing (work style shirt with elbow, should and low back "armour" & a leather vest.... I helped out some with the selling of the 50/50 tickets because I know of the value of "being of service" after that it was too friggin' hot so I went inside. Ordinarily I would have taken the layers of any even got a little sun - I don't generally care for sun "bathing" (or too much heat) & on this occasion I had two-day old tattoo work that definitely doesn't benefit from being in the direct sun.....Eventually seeing me sitting in the much cooler climes of the pub - a few others joined me ("it's too friggin' hot out there!!!!) - "No shit, I'm thinking...." for me, it has been a life-long challenge to be me (not specifically because of my life-circumstances) more that in the company of others, as the numbers increase - I have been known to "follow the crowd.." The price of this is profound misery and as far as I can see:Misery doesn't actually enjoy company - it's just a chorus of misery.. I empathize &, I want more, for me and all beings - I can have an impact on others through my choices, but the greatest impact still seems to be for me personally."Each to their own," & "To Thine Own Self be True"R. O'Neill (August 18, 2019)